F1: Music festival cancelled, acts scramble for new venues

F1: Music festival cancelled, acts scramble for new venues
Screen grab of the event's website showing the announcement that the festival is cancelled. Retfar Entertainment (Singapore) announced the cancellation on Wednesday night without giving an explanation.

SINGAPORE - At least 12 acts scheduled to perform at the 1 World Music Festival this weekend are now looking for alternative venues following the event's abrupt cancellation on Wednesday night.

The 1 World Music Festival was to be held at Marina Barrage today and tomorrow and had boasted a star-studded line-up of 67 dance music acts, including rapper and reggae artist Snoop Lion and American electronic dance music producer Moby.

On Wednesday night, the concert organiser Retfar Entertainment (Singapore) announced the cancellation of the festival without giving an explanation.

It said it would start refunding ticket-buyers on Sept 25.

Mr Phillip Poon, one of the directors of Massive Collective, which manages a stable of nightclubs including Mink, Fenix Room and Royal Room, said he is in talks to host at least three artists.

These include rapper Taboo of American pop group the Black Eyed Peas, American dance rap group Far East Movement and American music producer Chad Hugo of funk and hip-hop group N*E*R*D.

St James Holdings, which runs Neverland 2 and Shanghai Dolly, said it had to turn Snoop Lion away because it had no suitable venue.

The Butter Factory said it would be booking six 1 World Festival acts for the F1 weekend, including Japanese DJ Taku Takahashi of Japanese hip-hop group M-Flo, British DJ Krafty Kuts and American dance-pop act The Cataracs.

American deep house DJ Miguel Migs has managed to find a new gig venue in Club Kyo at Cecil Street, where he will be spinning tonight.

The last-minute cancellation has left music fans fuming and demanding an explanation.

The company was registered in March this year and the weekend music festival was the first event it had organised in Singapore.

It is an offshoot of Retfar Entertainment, which was formed in Australia in 1998 and which has organised shows by acts such as R&B/pop star Mariah Carey.

One music fan who goes by the name Grumps Oompaloompa posted on the Facebook page of Retfar Entertainment (Singapore): "Suddenly cancelling and refusing to give us any explanation except due to 'unforeseen circumstances'?? Great way to kill your reputation and all your consumers' trust."

The Straits Times understands that the organisers did not have problems securing entertainment permits for the shows.

Dr Robert Liew, chairman of the Association of Concert and Event Managers Singapore, said that such last-minute cancellations make ticket-buyers nervous.

"They would be more wary about buying tickets for future concerts. And they would not want to buy the tickets early in case the event gets cancelled."

A Facebook post by managing director of Retfar Entertainment (Singapore) Gregory Gumo on Sept 15 gave an inkling that all was not well.

He had posted: "The past week was a totally Murphy's law week..."

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

melk@sph.com.sg

 


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